Home Australia Back pain didn’t stop Kim Ravaillion’s glittering netball career. Neither has spinal surgery

Back pain didn’t stop Kim Ravaillion’s glittering netball career. Neither has spinal surgery

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A netball player passes a ball that floats halfway to the right of the frame.

Kim Ravaillion has reached netball’s greatest heights with premierships, a world cup title and a Commonwealth Games gold across her 13-year career.

But the Queensland Firebirds captain has been warned off-season back surgery could end it all.

“A surgeon has to say what he has to say, and he gave me some hard truths and told me where I was and said ‘you have to be very careful. You are at high risk of injury,'” Ravaillion. saying.

For some time, the Brisbane-based mother played professional netball due to spinal pain, which she eventually discovered only a microdiscectomy could fix.

Kim Ravaillion has experienced the greatest heights of netball, including premierships, a world cup title and a Commonwealth Games gold. (Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

“I have a little girl in my life, it was a reality check,” she said.

In late 2023, Ravaillion underwent successful surgery that relieved pressure on the nerves around the two lower vertebrae in his back.

At that time the path to recovery was unclear.

“It was really unknown, everyone was asking me when I was going to train again and when I was going to play and I couldn’t really give an answer,” he said.

“You just can’t do it with the type of surgery I had.”

Fast forward a few months and you’ll find the 30-year-old midfielder in the Queensland Firebirds gym doing unassisted pull-ups, seemingly without breaking a sweat.

“Anyway I have to be physically fit and strong for my injury, that’s my motivation,” Ravaillion said.

A woman looks sternly at the camera wearing a netball shirt in a gym.

Kim Ravaillion was warned that off-season spinal surgery could end her career.(ABC News: Chloe Chomicki)

Inspiring your daughter is one more reason to keep trying.

“I love that Georgie gets to see me do something I love.”

The team managing his rehabilitation is amazed at how far Ravaillion has come in such a short time.

“Rav is so much more than an incredible athlete, she is also an incredible person and a mother too,” said head physical therapist Talia Yarden.

“For her it wasn’t just about netball, it was about kids and being healthy and fit.”

Returning no later than last week’s Super Netball 2024 season opener, the Firebirds captain said she felt her form was at 95 per cent.

Two netball players smiling, one with candy necklaces.

Kim Ravaillion has recovered from surgery in time for the Queensland Firebirds’ 2024 season opener. (Maya Thompson/Getty Images)

“The body stopped well and I was surprised, but I think the adrenaline completely took over,” Ravaillion said.

In the second round, Ravaillion sat back and watched from the court as the Firebirds claimed their first win of the season before a Brisbane crowd with 65 points to 62 over the Giants.

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